With a lot of speculation, we have discussed the point-counterpoint of Max/FIA engine freeze rule this year.Has it reduced costs, are the engines truly frozen as the FIA says or are they being exploited as Flavio Briatore, Renault Team Principle, has alleged? An argument made here at F1B is that while freezing engine development seems like a good idea to reduce the cost of F1, would not the teams just spend the available cash from their engine program on other technologies? Max’s mad dash to be ‘green’ has promoted the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) initiative in F1 and most teams seem to be very pleased with the idea. Has the engine money just been shuffled from one division to another? The answer may very well be yes but with a surprise.
According to Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Team Principle, the engine freeze rule has saved money. He admits that the money not being used in engine development has been applied to other technologies but even while spending the resources on things such as KERS, they are still under their budgets from several years ago.
“If you look at the money we spend on the combustion engine, it has gone down massively. Some of the money saved we are now spending on future projects, like KERS. In my opinion, that makes a lot of sense. We are working on KERS at the same time as the combustion engine, and are still significantly below the budget we used to have in 2003 or 2004.”
so this brings to light the idea that the engine freeze may have had an effect on the teams budget as developing a KERS system may not be as resource consuming as developing engines. I think we could all agree that is probably the case but has Max’s little plan of freezing engine development and going green actually worked? Of is this a red herring? Teams could have saved not only engine development money but had they not gone down the ‘green’ path, they could really be saving some dosh.